Kaau Crater

HARD 198 reviews

Kaau Crater is a 5.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

5.1 miles 2119 feet Loop



nature trips

rock climbing






wild flowers




old growth

over grown



This is an amazing hike with three waterfalls and gorgeous views of Honolulu, Kaneohe, Kailua, Diamond Head, and Ka'au Crater. Some sections are closed due to volcanic activity. Check with the rangers.

2 minutes ago

3 hours ago

Great hike definitely a bit more strenuous that initially expected- worth every bit. Climbing up waterfalls were such a bonus, ropes were definitely needed in spots. Not a hike for small kids, a bit slippery so wear good shoes. Hike up to ridge line and then take switchbacks down. Markings are pretty good look for pink ties for trail marks - enjoy!

6 hours ago

2 days ago

This trail will kick your butt! It's so worth it though, we weren't sure if we were going to do it or not but very happy we chose to do it! Climbing the waterfalls sounds intimidating but it can be done! The ropes are a huge help! I did this trail 9 weeks out of shoulder surgery so if you are healthy it's totally capable of being conquered! Go do it!

2 days ago

3 days ago

Fantastic route, you get much more than expected.
The forest with birdsong, waterfalls, the breathtaking view from the rim, the exciting narrow path around the caldera...
It is a must if you seek a real adventure just next door to Honolulu.
It won't be your fastest 8 kms, to me it took 3 and 1/4 hours. Get plenty of drink, at least 4 liters. If weather was wet at the last week, have a pair of strong boots.

6 days ago

Fruit trees, and views

Loved this trail! We thought the waterfalls were the end of the hard stuff - we were wrong; but the view was totally worth it. 4L of water is probably a safe amount. We brought 3 each and ran out. Should have brought a cooler of beer for the end - we earned it! Oh and ditto the gloves - so glad we had those.

7 days ago

7 days ago

Beautiful hike! I think this is one of my favorite hikes I've ever done. Half of the hike, however, is extremely challenging and you literally have to crawl up a steep hill/cliff next to a waterfall. It hadn't rained in awhile, so it wasn't that slippery, but I personally would not go near this hike in the rain because parts of it are so sketchy, steep and slippery and I heard the waterfalls can get pretty powerful.

I did it by myself, without gloves, in shorts (my legs did get scratched up) and wearing regular hiking boots, but again, it was a beautiful day and hadn't rained in awhile.

If you decide to go and it's rained anytime in recent days, I'd definitely wear spikes on your hiking boots and gloves. Also, don't go alone if the weather is bad. Be prepared to climb, not just hike.

7 days ago

What a beautiful hike! Challenging in all the right ways, with views that are to die for!! Faced my fear of heights and climbed to the summit-so worth it!

9 days ago

9 days ago

10 days ago

First half with the three water falls is nice. Can be very muddy, so try to go when it hasn't rained for a week or so.

11 days ago

Awesome hike ! can be muddy and gloves are super helpful

11 days ago

The first part is great- with the three waterfalls. The crater is cool too but it's difficult getting up. The one part I had trouble with was that you have to go up the third waterfall to get to the crater. It's not very clear at first. Once at the crater, go around counterclockwise.

13 days ago

16 days ago

Bring more water than you think you need. If you get to the top, just continue and go the whole loop, it's totally worth it.

16 days ago